It can be a tough experience when going to the car garage to get your car serviced. It’s expensive, creates a lot of hassle and we have to go through with it. But there is a way to make the experience a whole lot better. Asking the right questions can give you a great chance in picking a decent garage that doesn’t give you a whole lot of stress.
What trade body do you belong to?
It’s important to find out whether the car garage belongs to a trade body so you know they are abiding by certain conditions and practices. If they are not with a trade body, find a different garage.
To join a trade group, garages must agree to comply with a set of conditions regulating workmanship and service practices. There are a number of approved garage schemes. You must be a member of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s CTSI programme to be of any value.
The advantage is that if you have a disagreement with the garage, you may call for an impartial arbitration service to intervene.
Will you tell me what you plan to do before starting any work?
This is essential as you don’t want a garage to decide on its own that your car needs a new clutch and then proceed to install it without informing you.
Since it’s your money, you decide whether it’s worth the cost or not. You might decide that your car needs a lot of repairs so you’d rather sell it and put the money towards something new.
What are my repair options?
An honest garage won’t let you spend a fortune on repairing an old car that’s worth a fraction of the parts they’ll use. If your car has gone into the garage and needs a lot of work, a sensible garage will have a plan. They may advise you to repair your old car with cheaper parts or may advise that you can source a part from a scrap yard and use that.
Do you use original parts?
If you’re buying a new car, you’ll almost certainly want OE (Original Equipment) parts. These are the most costly and are what comes with the car when it leaves the factory.
Aftermarket Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components are a cheaper alternative as well. These are created by manufacturers who most likely also make parts for car manufacturers. The parts are often less expensive, and they provide a good balance of quality and price.
Can you stamp my service book?
It’s essential to keep track of when your car was serviced in order to maximise its resale value. The mechanic who is performing the work should note it in the service book. Getting the mechanic to do it when the car is in their garage is far easier than getting them to do it months later.
Looking to sell your old car?
Not to worry, you can sell used cars at our auction. It’s a simple process and we also provide a free valuation service.